Gary Neville has opened up on why he thinks ‘selfish’ Mohamed Salah has developed into an ‘absolute killer’ in front of goal, after Liverpool’s high scoring start to the season.
The Egyptian forward was in his usual lethal form on Saturday night as the Reds began their title defence with an entertaining 4-3 victory over newly-promoted Leeds United – Salah grabbing the match ball having bagged a hat-trick.
The 28-year-old scored two penalties either side of a venomous effort that rocketed into the top corner, as he netted in his side’s opening Premier League fixture of the season for the fourth year in a row.
Salah’s explosive form since his return to England back in 2017 has earned him rave reviews from fans and pundits alike, with his recent performance in particular leaving Manchester United legend Gary Neville purring.
“I went home on Saturday and watched this game, and I was mesmerised by some of the things that I was seeing, fascinated by the game itself,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. “We knew it was going to be a good game before it started.
“But there was a point in the game, it was in the second half, where I was watching Salah and I thought ‘That is some player, that!’
“I know we know that he is some player, but when you think four years ago when he first came to Liverpool and he got those 40-odd goals, and I thought ‘That’s a freak, he won’t be able to live with that’, but then he consistently produces over the next two or three years.”
The former Chelsea winger is not the only player to have gone to a new level at Anfield, Salah’s teammate Sadio Mane also emerging as one of Europe’s most deadly and revered forwards.
Though both men have been at the peak of their powers in recent seasons, Neville believes that it is Salah who is the better of the two – likening Liverpool‘s selfishness and determination to that of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We had a debate last season of Mane or Salah, and you think about the mentality difference between them,” he continued. Mane is likeable, the players probably love him, he gives his all every single day, he’ll do the selfless thing for the team.
“Then you look at Salah over the other side. He sometimes doesn’t pass to his teammate, he’s a little bit more selfish, maybe a little less likeable because of that.
“But looking at him as an outsider, and I’m thinking, ‘He is an absolute killer on the pitch’.
“It reminds me of the twin tracking of Ronaldo and Rooney in the mid 2000’s, and I think that is where Mane and Salah is. I think Salah will go like that [on an upward trajectory] above Mane. Not because Mane isn’t a great player, as Rooney was a great player. But the reason these players are different is that they have something in here which means they go home at night, and being the best player in the world rocks their world.”
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